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TheFortune Men

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SHORLISTED FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE and COSTA NOVEL AWARD OF THE YEARHEART-WRENCHING: A vividly ... Read More

Product Description

SHORLISTED FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE and COSTA NOVEL AWARD OF THE YEARHEART-WRENCHING: A vividly atmospheric story set in the 1950s of a Somali sailor who is seeking his fortune in Britain when he is accused of a murder he did not commit.BASED ON A TRUE AND ASTONISHING CASE OF WRONGFUL CONVICTION: brings to life forgotten black British history.FOR FANS OF: Small Island (11k HBs; 120k PBs), An American Marriage, If Beale Street Could Talk, and BBC Steve McQueen series Small Axe.PRAISE FROM HIGH PROFILE AUTHORS: 'Chilling and utterly compelling' Sathnam SangheraNadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in 1981 and moved to Britain at the age of four. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, won the Betty Trask Prize; it was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the PEN Open Book Award. Her second novel, Orchard of Lost Souls, won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Prix Albert Bernard. Nadifa Mohamed was selected for the Granta Best of Young British Novelists in 2013, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Fortune Men was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize and the Costa Novel Award. Nadifa Mohamed lives in London.

Grippingly-paced and full of complex, richly-drawn characters, the novel combines pointed social observation with a deeply empathetic sensibility. The Fortune Men demonstrates what historical fiction can achieve at its best

[An] expert illumination of real-life racial injustice in the cultural melting pot of 1950s CardiffNadifa Mohamed's The Fortune Men is an elegant portrayal of life in the racial, cultural hub of Cardiff's Tiger Bay in the early Fifties. Eschewing a simple morality play for complex vivid characters, it centres on the plight of Mahmood Mattan, who finds himself in the shadow of the hangman's noose for a murder he didn't commitSmart and devastating, there's a reason it's one of our books of the yearA potent, pointed novel . . . Mohamed is a big talent, and she's only getting startedThe Fortune Men is a novel on fire, a restitution of justice in proseBased on real events, Mohamed's novel is panoramic in its scope and rich in period atmosphere, vividly tracing the desperate livers of the victim and the accusedIn her determined, nuanced and compassionate exposure of injustice, Mohamed gives the terrible story of Mattan's life and death meaning and dignityA searing and moving look at institutional racism and the helplessness you can feel in the face of prejudiceA writer of great humanity and intelligence. Nadifa Mohamed deeply understands how lives are shaped both by the grand sweep of history and the intimate encounters of human beingsChilling and utterly compelling, The Fortune Men shines an essential light on a much-neglected period of our national lifeThe Fortune Men describes how innocence is forced to justify itself before gross injustice. A novel of tremendous power, compassion and subtlety, it feels unsettlingly timelyThe Fortune Men confirms Mohamed as a literary star of her generation. When Mohamed's prose - simple and full of soul - illuminated him, Mahmood emerges as a beacon of humour, hope and enduranceThe Fortune Men is that rare novel that breaks your heart and, in so doing, gives you life. Nadifa Mohamed is a revelation - she writes with the fierce compassionate lightning of a truth-teller, lays bare the ghastly colonial condition that afflicts so many of us, where truth cannot overcome injustice. If a novel can be an avenger then The Fortune Men is the one we've all been waiting forThe writing carries a depth of humanity that puts the reader right in the shoes of the characters - the clothes they wear, the streets they walk, the emotions they feel . . . [The Fortune Men] is filled with the hope of how things should be and the truth of how things are. All of it, the life of Mahmood Mattan, the system convicting him of this murder, and the community that allows it, all brought painfully into focus with Mohamed's unflinching and gifted proseMohamed balances colonial history and violence with the evocative interior lives of Mahmood and Violet Volacki, a fictionalized Volpert . . . brilliantly depict[ing] the complexities of community within the Black diaspora . . . [she] manages such tender detail even while zooming out on the British prison and court systems more broadlyMohamed's novel, very much in the US genre of exposing racial injustice, is also an atmospheric account of Tiger Bay in 1952 and of the forgotten multiculturalism that allowed Mattan to marry a local girl, Laura, who for years campaigned to clear his nameMohamed is . . . intent on expanding her world, listing its teeming varieties and presenting a wealth of character and languageEvocative and enlightening Heaving with life . . . The Fortune Men excavates the forgotten reaches of British colonial history . . . The purposeful detail is an implicit corrective to all the times when the lives of people like Mattan have not been considered at allA moving workNadifa Mohamed's richly evocative novel paints a vivid picture of life in this notorious neighbourhood as she visits a forgotten miscarriage of justice[Mohamed] creates an intriguing snapshot of an era and a complex main character you can't help but root forIt's unbearably wrenching . . . Mohamed makes the outrage at the book's heart blazingly unignorable by inhabiting Mattan's point of view, a bold endeavour pulled off to powerful effect. Passages from the barbaric climax are still echoing in my head, even as I typeJust as Half of a Yellow Sun drew out the little documented dramas of the Biafran war, Mohamed describes an East Africa under Mussolini's rule . . . such an accomplished first novelA first novel of elegance and beauty... a stunning debutA haunting and intimate portrait of the lives of women in war-torn SomaliaMixing startling lyricism and sheer brutality, this is a significant, affecting bookWith the unadorned language of a wise, clear-eyed observer, Nadifa Mohamed has spun an unforgettable taleA moving and captivating tale of survival and hope in a war-torn country, and confirms Mohamed's stature as one of Britain's best young novelists

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2022

'Chilling and utterly compelling, The Fortune Men shines an essential light on a much-neglected period of our national life' Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland

Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff's Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer.

So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn't too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.

It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life - against conspiracy, prejudice and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman's noose, he begins to realise that the truth may not be enough to save him.

'A writer of great humanity and intelligence. Nadifa Mohamed deeply understands how lives are shaped both by the grand sweep of history and the intimate encounters of human beings' Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire

'A novel of tremendous power, compassion and subtlety, it feels unsettlingly timely' Pankaj Mishra

Product Details

Title: TheFortune Men
Author: Nadifa Mohamed
SKU: BK0458541
EAN: 9780241466957
Language: English

About Author

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in 1981 and moved to Britain at the age of four. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, won the Betty Trask Prize; it was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the PEN Open Book Award. Her second novel, Orchard of Lost Souls, won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Prix Albert Bernard. Nadifa Mohamed was selected for the Granta Best of Young British Novelists in 2013, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Fortune Men was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize and the Costa Novel Award. Nadifa Mohamed lives in London.

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